. I’ve had an awful week. Okay, compared to some it was a breeze, but to me, it was terrible. And my reaction was, as usual, just to disappear into a world inside my head whenever I had a spare moment.

But this time it wasn’t someone else’s world. This time, I chose the worlds I’ve created.

First I tried my ghost stories. But they’re short stories, so I came back much too soon. I tried the world of my Victorian detective – but that’s still being created. So I disappeared into the first world I ever made out of my own head – a fantasy land. A world of dark and light, and dragons and goblins, and heroes and heroines and villains.

I’ve been writing these stories, on and off, for over ten years now, so in my head, the world is pretty much fully created. I close my eyes, and I can see the hills beyond the plains, the great rift, the dark and lonely woods. And I can be whoever I want to be – the daring and doomed hero, the lost yet strong heroine, the other reluctant, dark hero, even the insane villain. I dived into my world, and had adventures.

It sounds insane, I know to disappear into my head this way. But be honest, isn’t this what every writer does? How could we write truthfully if we haven’t lived what we write, even if it is only as a daydream?

I came out of it with a few new stories, a few new insights, a few new neat turn of phrases. But what’s really important is that I went in tired and distressed and lonely, and came out stronger and happier.

And that’s what’s really necessary to me as a writer. Getting published, getting paid, good reviews – they are important. But what’s necessary is the world I create in my head, with my words.


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